OxfordTri Needs You

Hello Oxford Tri Family, 

I hope that this newsletter finds you well. In this edition I want to highlight three opportunities to give back to the club. 

At the AGM last year, we as a club voted that members should be expected to volunteer a minimum of once a year across the various roles, including helping out at club events, external events which benefit the club, coaching and other roles including lake supervision and cross-country marshalling.

I am becoming concerned about the lack of engagement in relation to volunteering in this way. As it stands, for next weekend’s club aquathlon event, we are roughly ten volunteers short despite our participant numbers continuing to increase. We only have two people signed up to help at Blenheim Palace Triathlon and have had little interest with some help we’ve been seeking to support the club committee. Oxford Tri only exists because people volunteer. If this current trend continues then I have concerns around Oxford Tri continuing to exist and offer the value and community that it does. 

OK, moan over and HUGE thank you to those who have volunteered – without your help we wouldn’t have been able to do all the things that we have done as a club. Next up is some more info which will help you to see the real benefit behind volunteering and giving back to our sport and local community. 

First off, volunteering is good for you. Not only does it enable you to have a positive impact in other people’s lives, but studies have shown that it can boost self-esteem, confidence and wellbeing. In my experience in triathlon, it also gets you as close as you’ll get to the action that we get that buzz from. 

Oxford Aquathlon Volunteers

With regards to next weekend, looking at current race participant sign-ups we urgently need about 10 people to marshal out on the course for roughly an hour. Out of the 20 signups, we as a club only know 4 of them which is an amazing number for a small novice event. This means that 16 of those taking part have possibly never done a multi-sport event. Can you remember your first time? (and yes, I’m still taking about triathlon). Do you remember that marshal that made you smile when you were having a rough time or inspired you to go that bit faster could that be you to one of these 16 and growing for next weekend? 

As if that wasn’t good enough, there will be a prize draw between the volunteers for two spaces at this year’s Oxford Half Marathon, thanks to our partnership with Motiv Sports. And in many of the roles (shown below), you could also take part in the race if you wish!

If you can volunteer next Sunday please pop your name in the spreadsheet below or give me a little email at chair@oxfordtri.co.uk


Set Up – Helping set up the course, transition area and registration. Timings 8:00 – 9:00am. *Opportunity to Take Part

Registration (Located in the reception area of the Leys pool) – Registering athletes as they arrive. Timings 8:30 – 9:45am. *Opportunity to Take Part

Course Support (Poolside, Transition, Run Course, Finish Line) Supporting athletes during the swim + run. Timings 9:00 – 11:00am. *Opportunity to Take Part

Time Keeper – Recording start or finish time of athletes. Timings 9:15 -11:00am

Oxford Aquathlon volunteer spreadsheet – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17s_Rmpfpyr8Tvwk7inIrWfDPTimRkTEAAZpejjcsr-s/edit?usp=sharing 

Blenheim Triathlon Volunteers

Mentioning Motiv Sports nicely transitioned me into this next section. To give a little background info, Oxford Tri have been volunteering at Blenheim Palace Triathlon since pretty much its first year, with some huge numbers turning out to volunteer. Last year we managed to regain a relationship with Limelight Sports (who then sadly went bust).  Limelight did a bit of social media and marketing for our Open Water Swim Familiarisation sessions and we had around 50 people sign up, bringing in nearly £700 to the club. Those at the AGM or who read the financial accounts shared afterwards will remember that we are forecasting an approximate £4,000 loss this year despite increasing our membership fees. We don’t want to keep putting the membership fee up – it’s something we are incredibly passionate about as a committee and recognise that we may lose members by doing so. Therefore, we instead need to work out a way of finding additional income from other sources or cut back in what we are offering as a club. I think you get the picture here. 

Motiv Sports (the new organisers of Blenheim Palace Tri) have already publicised and endorsed our Open Water Swim Familiarisation sessions for this year and with current sign ups we are looking at over £2,000 of income, which will go a huge way to getting us to that breakeven point. None of this would have been possible without the support of Motiv Sports – this being a reason to consider helping out at the triathlon. 

Other reasons include Blenheim just being an awesome event, there were a handful of us who volunteered last year and I’m sure that anyone who spoke to you would highlight just how good a time it was. We have also been asked to run the transition areas (if possible) – that red carpet is just a great place to be at an event like this! It’s where some of your specific triathlon knowledge can go a long way to calm nerves or help with a race belt and number etc. 

Finally, my contact at Motiv Sports has agreed to give us one sprint/super sprint place per five volunteers. This is amazing! Like it’s a great event but quite pricey, so the chance to be able to do it for free is a big win. I will do a draw at the end of April pending how many people have signed up and will check when our deadline would be. We are also making a Whatsapp group to make communication easier and to help with lift sharing etc. AND I almost forgot to mention that they are planning on giving us some money (TBC) too, again a huge help to us as a club. 

The shifts for Blenheim Palace Triathlon are as follows, please do sign up to volunteer if you can make it. Also any questions please contact me at chair@oxfordtri.co.uk

Saturday 1st of June 2024

06:30 – 12:30 and 12:00 – 18:00

Sunday 2nd of June 2024

06:30 – 11:30 and 11:00 – 15:00

*You can also volunteer all day if you wish, this would count as two entries into the prize draw*

Blenheim Palace Triathlon Volunteer Sign-Up – https://forms.gle/aStpgLh4Kimh2gTF8

Committee Support 

Over the past couple of weeks, we as a committee have been seeking secretarial and social media help. Perhaps we haven’t done a good job at highlighting what the committee actually does and this is something we are working on (feedback welcome!). I’d like to highlight the key tasks related to each of these roles that we’d most love a little help with:

Secretary – the main task here being the minute taking. The committee meets once a month, either in person or online. We want to be better at being transparent and part of this is sharing the minutes of our meetings with you, our members. The Secretary doesn’t need to make all of the meetings nor do we need a turn around of 24hrs but someone to help type up the notes of what has been said and decided would help us greatly rather than a current committee member having to do a dual kind of role.

Also, if anyone knows of any free technology that will do this for us in a semi-noisy pub with 8ish people speaking then do let us know. 

Social Media – Messages/Posts.  If someone could help to do the writing and posts on social media, say, once a week, that would help us to keep a regular stream of info out there. It’s something I juggle ATM and as much as I’m happy with the design stuff, being severely dyslexic means that writing takes a long time (hence why you didn’t get this on Friday night or if you’ve read a newsletter in the past and it hasn’t really made sense). Also, I get quite a few messages about the club which I’m unable to answer as quickly as I’d like due to being in a profession where it’s illegal to have my phone on me at work (yes you did read that right). Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Finally, when it comes to volunteering – why not get others involved, family and friends, if they are keen to help then we would love to see them and help them have an awesome time with us! Or if you have a particular passion or skill that you would love to share with us that may serve the club in some way, please do let us know. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I know it’s a bit of an ask, you have families and other commitments but we really do rely on the voluntary help of our committee and our members. Without you all there would be no club. Volunteering for one event in a year or assisting at a session, or supporting in anyway would help massively.

God Bless



Training Calendar 

See the official calendar for full info and sign up links.

Monday 22nd April: Coached Swim – Leys Pool @ 20:00

Tuesday 23rd April: Member Lead Social Run – Headington Hill @ 19:00

Tuesday 23rd April: Coached Swim – Thame Pool @ 20:00

Wednesday 24th April: Coached Swim – Radley Pool @ 20:00

Thursday 25th April: Coached Run – Horspath Track @ 19:00

Friday 26th April: Coached Swim – Kidlington Pool @ 19:00

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